·I’d like to begin my remarks by thanking SAIC and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum for joining GM as co-sponsors of this important exhibition. I also want to thank Shanghai Municipality for your support.
·In just a handful of years, China has gone from a country in which personal cars were a rarity to a country with the world’s fastest-growing car market … from a country in which vehicle emissions were largely an afterthought to a country in which emissions have become a major environmental concern … from a country that was a net exporter of petroleum to a country that is one of the world’s major petroleum importers.
·As China and the rest of the world change, the automotive industry also has to change. General Motors has responded by developing a comprehensive strategy comprised of near-, mid- and long-term solutions for highly efficient and sustainable transportation.
·Over the long term, we believe that fuel cells powered by hydrogen offer the ultimate solution for sustainable transportation around the globe. This technology also offers the best solution for taking the motor vehicle out of the pollution equation, decreasing the world’s reliance on petroleum and ensuring our energy security.
·Yet the road to the commercialization of this technology is fraught with challenges. One of the biggest is consumer acceptance.
·As we all have seen with other industries, it takes time for any major new technology - regardless of how beneficial it may be - to become accepted by the public. We therefore need to educate consumers … and we need to educate consumers today.
·That, ladies and gentlemen, is why this exhibition is so important.
·Our goal is to demonstrate to the Chinese public the exciting advances that have already been made in the development of clean vehicle technology and the many benefits that this technology promises. Another equally important goal is to show the important role that China and Chinese institutions have to play in this technology’s further development.
·As a country with a relatively young automotive industry and without the massive gasoline infrastructure of places like the United States and Europe, China is in an excellent position to create a hydrogen infrastructure. Similarly, China’s automotive industry and research community are in an excellent position to become leaders in sustainable transportation.
·But just like the development of China’s automotive industry of today, partnerships are key to the development of China’s automotive industry of tomorrow. It is crucial that those of us in the automotive industry form partnerships amongst ourselves and with the energy industry, as well as with government and academic institutions to share resources and learnings. We also need to get the public on board.
·By working together and sharing our achievements with the local community, I am convinced that we will be able to eliminate the challenges along the road to a hydrogen-based economy and truly sustainable transportation.